I will be the first to admit that I haven’t spent my Advent as eagerly preparing as I should have. However, this morning I got to thinking, some preparation is better than nothing. I’ve seen the priests at our parish simply scurry and frantically prepare for the events that they have going on and they are truly busy men. But what has happened to Advent?
I have to laugh because I feel like my Advent looks a lot like this.
But this is the truth about Advent (excuse the ad at the end):
In case you didn’t watch the videos, (like I have a tendency to occasionally do on blogs) the first is the Christmas Can Can by Straight No Chaser. It laughs at the secularism before Christmas, like hearing the same Christmas carol 20 times and it’s not even Halloween yet. The second is a brief intro as to what Advent is about, “the cozier, getting your home ready to welcome a special guest,” ie: Jesus.
Now the truth of the matter is, we are getting stressed about Christmas presents, cookie baking, maybe that feel good volunteer trip to the soup kitchen and we are saying that we don’t have time to prepare for anything else. The nice thing is, it’s not too late. This is coming from the person with the huge list, meetings, social events, Christmas program planning, youth events, travel plans, an occasional nap, shopping, wrapping, more meetings, appointments and it goes on and on. I don’t like what I’m becoming and I’m becoming the innkeeper, you know the one who didn’t have room to properly house Joseph and Mary and then a little baby Jesus.
Honestly, I’m not pointing fingers at anyone but myself. I am accountable for my actions and lack there of as well. So as I stop and see that thing are slowing down for me I wonder what do I have that I can prepare with? My mind immediately flashes to the Gospel readings before Advent began; the parables of thieves breaking in or the unprepared virgins, be vigilant, be alert! Well here I am dozing off going “but we don’t know when he’s coming right? A little nap might be nice, that’s preparation too?” The truth is, it’s not.
I don’t know about you but I saw that 3rd candle being lit this weekend and went “whoa, when did that happen? When did we get so far along?” I’ve been guilty of preparing everything but myself. So here we sit, t minus 10 days to Christmas, and I am not ready and I am not prepared, I don’t want it to be Christmas yet. For me that’s a good thing, I know I’m not ready and there is still some time.
Starting on December 17, is a great tradition of the Church. If you have ever sang “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” ever, you have taken part in this great tradition. This tradition is called the “O Antiphons” This is the yearnings of we the people as we anticipate the coming of Christ into our world and our hearts. I am hoping to stay on top of my game and post daily a small reflection on each of these antiphons. Which leaves me with one last question for today:
In this time of business and preparation, will you prepare with me?